Caitlin Lowery is an educator at Lagos Elementary in Manor Independent School District in Manor, Texas. She is a passionate advocate for equitable education for all scholars through use of innovative teaching practices. Caitlin received her Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education from Berea College and her Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction (Literacy Studies) from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has taught both elementary and secondary levels for ten years in a variety of learning environments including public school, private school, juvenile detention center, and alternative programs. Caitlin’s belief is that literacy is not a privilege but a human right, and our educational practices across the world must provide that right to all children.
Critical Literacy: From Coach to Teacher to Scholar to World
Two Perspectives: Literacy Coach and classroom teacher share how critical literacy through growth mindset is changing one campus and the surrounding community.
As an educator in the millennium, I believe students need to be mass consumers of information and to be able to navigate and interrogate societal and cultural issues in order to critique the structures that serve as norms. As a Literacy Coach, I nudge teachers toward a greater understanding of growth mindset and the power this has on creating a rich critical literacy environment for our students, regardless of age.
Moving teachers toward a growth mindset has been a challenge and a blessing. A challenge in that a few teachers are still non-believers in that all students can learn. A blessing in that many teachers with whom I work (Mrs. Lowery) embrace this mindset and allow students to soar. Today we are preparing students for careers that haven’t even been created yet. We must differentiate and teach students to critically consume texts.
Hollywood portrays educators as the sage on the stage. However, through my work with Ms. Gray, I learned that sometimes stepping back allows your scholars to step forward. Developing a growth mindset in the classroom guides the scholars in taking ownership of their learning which, in turn, changes the dynamic of education from teacher-forced to scholar-led.
Critical Literacy demands that one uses reflection, analysis, and an innovative mindset. By instilling growth mindset in our scholars, we give permission for them to have a voice and choice in what they read and write, to consider the words put before them and to offer words to the world. Hollywood “educators” may sell tickets, but true educators through their scholars change the world.